November 4, 2019

Gabriele Michalitsch and Georg Seeßlen in conversation with Ruth Sonderegger

Whose Freedom? - Event series

Neoliberalism is altering the cultural and political order and affects our conception of individuality and freedom and what we make of them. Georg Seeßlen regards the capitalist surrealist as the perfect protagonist of contemporary capitalism: like the Surrealist in art, he loves to put things together that do not belong together. Although he does not take the system seriously, he uncomplainingly accepts its totality.

The manifold changes wrought by the pervasive dominance of economic principles in almost all domains of life are also Gabriele Michalitsch’s concern: she interprets the interpellation to be an entrepreneur of the self as a process designed to domesticate the subject and impose control over its passions that also redefines relations between the genders.

Yet which vantage points would allow us to articulate stances outside the culture and aesthetic of neoliberalism and its regulations? In conversation with the philosopher Ruth Sonderegger, Michalitsch and Seeßlen invite the audience to take stock of the role of art in the face of neoliberal self-control.


Gabriele Michalitsch
is a political scientist and economist at the universities of Vienna and Klagenfurt. She has held visiting professorships in Budapest, Istanbul, Beijing, and elsewhere. Publications include Die neoliberale Domestizierung des Subjekts: Von den Leidenschaften zum Kalkül (2006).

Georg Seeßlen is a writer, curator, journalist, and cultural and film critic and teaches at various universities. Publications include Freiheit und Kontrolle: Die Geschichte des nicht zu Ende befreiten Sklaven (with Markus Metz, 2017).

Ruth Sonderegger is professor of philosophy and aesthetic theory at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Her research currently focuses on critical practices and theories and the history of (the founding of) philosophical aesthetics in relation to colonial capitalism.

In the context of the event series Whose freedom?